As part of our mission, The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House is pleased to offer educational programming to celebrate and promote the vision and legacy of Eugene O’Neill. Current programming focuses mainly on high school engagement but expansion will include programs for adults as well as college courses.
Our free spring weekend workshop in acting and playwriting brings together high school students from the Bay Area to the Eugene O’Neill Historic Site for professional coaching.
Working with an industry veteran, you will get a taste of professional acting techniques that you can use to enrich your performances. The day will include some games, short scene work, and techniques on how to approach character, movement, voice, actions, and motivations. You will walk away with a taste of the type of training offered in popular BFA/MFA programs, as well as some insight into the business of acting as a career.
Our Playwriting workshop focuses on play structure and character development. You will spend some time soaking up the incredible creative energy of Tao House and do some writing exercises that engage the imagination while building a road map for your writing process. Come prepared to write and to open your mind to what you have to offer the world of playwriting.
The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service, provides these educational programs FREE, with the generous support of the The Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation and the Wood Foundation.
Our free 10-day Studio Retreat is recognized as a distinctive educational program, designed to provide a more thorough understanding of playwright Eugene O’Neill and his important place in American drama, while encouraging students to reach a new level of creativity within their own work. By collaborating with local theatre professionals, participants in this 10-day workshop gain valuable, hands-on insight into what the careers of working actors and playwrights actually entail.
Students in the Playwriting program will delve into topics such as character, dialogue, and story arc – all in the process of developing their own ten-minute script for a final public performance. Students in the Acting program will gain insight into building characters, the importance of movement and voice, and learn the foundations of acting techniques taught at college-level programs. The second week is devoted to rehearsing the original scripts written by the playwrights, and mounting performances for friends and family on the final Sunday of the workshop.
Lunch is provided daily to students, along with snacks and water throughout the day. As direct access to the O’Neill Historic Site via car is not allowed, the National Park Service shuttles students to/from the site, from either the Walnut Creek BART Station or the Danville Park & Ride. Please indicate which location you prefer when applying. Studio Retreat will support students’ use of BART.
During the production of some of our recent performances, we developed many resources for educators to use in their classrooms.
Visit our past productions to find videos of performances, interviews with actors, O’Neill scholars from around the world director, as well as various engagement guides.